HC3’s work in Côte d’Ivoire builds on the activities begun under the PACT project, which was implemented by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (CCP). HC3’s overall goal in Côte d’Ivoire is to reduce vulnerability to HIV/AIDS among higher-risk populations through social and behavior change communication (SBCC) activities.
HC3 will accomplish this goal by strengthening the capacity of local stakeholders to implement SBCC programs that support HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services. In particular, HC3 is enhancing the effectiveness of SBCC in promoting HIV service uptake, ART adherence, community-based care/support efforts, healthy social norms, and couple communication.
HC3 also plans to strengthen the capacity of other SBCC organizations in Côte d’Ivoire. The project works with local institutions to help develop their SBCC capacity, as well as disseminate high-quality SBCC tools and act as a key resource in this area. Finally, HC3 plans and implements SBCC programs designed to increase HIV prevention behaviors among high priority groups, including young girls, older men and those with multiple partners.
SuperGo program: In 2013, the SuperGo program was funded to reach about 9,000 young girls through five local NGOs. In 2015, thanks to USAID’s appreciation of the program, the target was increased to 15,760 young women aged 16-24. Based on the program assessment results from last year, the majority of participants in the SuperGo program opted to access counseling and HIV testing services; all who tested received results. Young women who participated in the program reported that their relationships with their boyfriends had improved and the girls who participated believe that they are now capable of negotiating safe sex.
HC3 Côte d’Ivoire is expanding the SuperGo (Super Girl) campaign to empower more young girls to delay their first sexual experience, and for women to use condoms and negotiate safe sex through group trainings and the voice of a cartoon figure, the “Super Go.”
Brothers For Life program: The HC3 Côte d’Ivoire team uses the South African Brothers of Life model to address risks associated with having multiple and concurrent partnerships, the issue of gender-based violence, and to promote condom use and couple communication as well as HIV testing, male involvement in PMTCT and health seeking behaviors in general among Ivorian men. Following the pilot program success, the number of men aged 35 and over reached through the BFL program has tripled from 900 in Year 1 to 3,250 in 2015. More than 75% of those who participated got tested for HIV and know their status.
mHealth: HC3 CI is currently piloting an SMS-based mHealth program in an effort to increase HIV testing and counseling and ART adherence and treatment for adult men and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Mass communication activities:
TV series “Reséaux” (“Networks”): is a TV drama series with six separate but interlinked episodes produced by HC3 Côte d’Ivoire tackling underlying factors affecting adults’ risky behaviors in Côte d’Ivoire. Six additional episodes of the TV series “Réseaux” are currently in production to be aired on national TV in the project’s third year. Each episode addresses HIV-related topics including HIV testing and counseling, condom use, multiple and concurrent sexual partners reduction, ART adherence and treatment.